Competition Tips: Part 4

Have we mentioned that the deadline for our Student Design Competition is coming soon? Find out all about it and download the entry form here, and read on for some last-minute tips...

Tip #5: White space is good.
The topic of white space is a huge one, and we'll address it more on this blog in the future, but for now check out a few good links here and here. Basically the point is: don't try to cram text and images into every inch of your page. Breathing room is good. A few ways to achieve this... 

- Margins: This is the space around the edge of your page/spread. Check out your favorite magazines, and you'll see that most leave around 3/8" to 1/2" on their outside margins. Some have wider bottom margins than the top or sides and vice versa. Bigger is not always better, but when margins get too small, your page starts to feel cramped and crowded. 

- Text Leading: You'll notice when you increase the leading in your body copy, the columns of text feel lighter and more airy. That's another way to increase white space. Sometimes a tighter, more dense body copy is desired and looks good; othertimes, adding a little extra linespacing makes for a better look. Play around with yours, but don't go too crazy in the body copy ... it still needs to be readable.

Tip #6: Use drop caps, subheads, pull quotes and sidebars to liven up your page.
You don't have to use all of these elements, but consider them, especially on the 2nd spread where you don't have the headline package. These elements can add more visual interest to the spread beyond the images and can help draw the reader into the text.

Thumbnail image for DropCapEtc-A.jpg

Missed our previous tips? Check them out:

Have other questions? Email us.

Images, from top: 2009 Student Competition Winner Melanie Teppich; Wired, SELF, New York
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